Santa will be doing a lap of honour at Centennial Park after motorists abused volunteers on SH1 at last year’s parade.
Santa will be kicking off the Wellsford Country Show at 10am at Centennial Park on November 19.
Parade spokesperson Stef Railey says she has it on good authority from an elf on the inside of Santa’s operation at the North Pole that this will be the start of festivities worldwide.
“Wellsford is Auckland’s top town. Santa knows that and that’s why he will be here first,” Stef says.
This year is the first time the Santa Parade has been combined with the Country Show. All the floats will complete a lap of honour on the paddock before crossing the road into Centennial Park for judging.
Stef says a lack of Christmas spirit last year meant closing State Highway One was no longer an option.
“If it wasn’t for our volunteers, last year’s show would have been a disaster. The traffic management company didn’t show up and our volunteers made it happen. Unfortunately, they were abused by impatient motorists.”
Organisers have received a $3370 Rodney Local Board grant to hold the event.
Stef says normally those funds don’t even cover the traffic management costs for closing SH1. Organisers hope they will be able to spend the grant on delivering Christmas spirit rather than directing traffic.
This year, the Lions, Blue Light and the Wellsford Show committee have all helped organise the parade.
Children on the floats will get free entry into the show and there will be a people’s choice award for the best float.
Stef says they have had a great response from the local community, but she is missing one key ingredient.
“I need a piper to lead the parade – the highland games are on the same weekend in Auckland. If I can’t find a piper, then I’m looking for a brass band.”